Severe Weather

Bus in snow at Twinbrook

Many people rely on Metro to get where they need to go, regardless of the weather, which is why we do everything possible to provide safe and reliable transit service during inclement winter weather.

Metro has nearly 600 pieces of snow equipment available to tackle snow and ice accumulation at stations, rail yards, parking garages, and bus facilities. Hundreds of employees and contractors can be called upon to respond to snow conditions.

During periods of severe weather, Metro may limit or curtail service for safety reasons. Review the information below to know what to expect.

What to Expect During a Winter Storm


Metrorail can operate very close to a normal schedule in snowfall of up to six inches. However, once snow reaches a height of about eight inches, it may be necessary to suspend service above ground. For more information, see Metrorail Snow Service.


During inclement weather, Metrobus service may be modified as local road conditions deteriorate. Metrobus will first reduce service, then limit service to snow emergency routes. If snow accumulates to unsafe levels or road conditions are impassable, Metro will halt all bus service until it is safe to resume service. Metrobus has worked with local jurisdictions to identify snow emergency routes that need to be plowed to maintain bus service to as many communities as possible.

Metrobus will provide regular service in one to two inches of snow, but some routes that operate on hills, curves, and narrow streets may be detoured. With two to four inches of snow, freezing rain or ice, Metrobus may reduce service, widening intervals between buses. Four to eight inches of snow will lengthen intervals between buses even further. With eight inches or more of snow, Metrobus will run minimal bus service only. When road conditions become unsafe, Metrobus will curtail all service. For more information, see Metrobus Snow Service.


MetroAccess will operate during inclement weather, but service will be modified throughout the day as road and walkway conditions deteriorate causing unsafe conditions. If roadways or walkways become unsafe, MetroAccess will suspend operations until it is safe to resume service.

Stay Informed During Winter Weather Events

  • Subscribe to MetroAlerts to receive email or text messages notifying you of Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess service disruptions.
  • Follow Metro on Twitter.
  • Visit before you start your trip.
  • Call the Metro Customer Information Center at 202-637-7000.
  • Listen to radio or television traffic reports.

Winter Travel Tips

  • Before you start your trip, find out how Metro is serving your area and don't let yourself get stranded once you're out.
  • Dress warmly. You may be outside longer than normal.
  • Do not stand in the street while waiting for a bus.
  • Use extreme caution when walking on exposed surfaces, including parking lots and station platforms. Never run for a bus or train.
  • Report any unsafe conditions to a Metro employee.

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